Holistically MS

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For The Greater Freedom

It’s just dawned on me that I’m actually limiting my independent travel. I’ve realised that independent trips out have been too controlled by my choice of equipment to hand. Recently I’ve felt so happy with being able to walk a bit, and thus proud of this ability, that I’ve been using my rollator as much as possible. However on reflection of this when travelling solo I now realise that by using the rollator I’m actually reducing my freedom. I can cover a much further distance in the wheelchair. And so I think that now the novelty and perhaps the self-proving stage has passed, I can get on with using what works best in what situation. It’s quite a minefield to process…so I’m currently awake in the middle of the night needing to clarify things and create clear waters.

When travelling on my own and relying on public transport the wheelchair enables me to wander a few miles and also catch the commercial bus – which in turn means I can be spontaneous with when and where I go. It means that I can get to a bus stop and feel one of the masses…and preferably move to a regular seat in order to face forwards. When being taken out in the car and accompanied, the rollator provides the ideal apparatus for walking with someone, having an eye level experience and with easier access to buildings; blending in to the crowd and having the safety of someone being able to move the car to pick me up.

Is this feeling like a step backwards? Perhaps so however if I’m to maximise my benefits in life then I need to focus on looking at the situation from the aspect of greater freedom and independence – and this means that I can go out more. I’ve actually realised that since using the rollator and travelling independently I’ve only gone out three times (by community bus) – twice to go directly to an office to volunteer and the other time was yesterday to get to my dentist appointment. With my brain processing all sort of activities in town and preparing for an appointment I found this experience to have been slightly limiting. Deep down I knew that being in the wheelchair will have improved my trip. Yes, sure, with the rollator I was standing up and able to take my time however the wheelchair does provide me with a more comfortable experience overall. Which in turn gives me more freedom, more independence, greater distances…and therefore more accessibility.

It seems that there is always more to learn about having such a variable disease. There is a lot of safety to take on board in order to keep my health at optimum levels. Changes can occur at almost any moment – reminding me that life is always changing, whatever our situations and capabilities, and whatever our choices. My advice to myself is to accept the modes of mobility transport with flexibility and focus on the objective. So as I process this I hope to see the wider opportunities grow.

shoe wheelI’m still doing well on the Wahls Protocol; my training programme continues to work for me and my muscles gaining strength; my relaxation techniques being just that; my cooking skills increasing as I experiment with baking options and gain confidence. My overall happiness is glowing and growing. Also as a couple, our lives are changing so much – for the better. We went out cycling at the weekend, and with the exception of the biggest hill, I realised that I was grinning for the whole trip…the enormity of happiness was far beyond my expectations. I’m very much enjoying sharing my journey with people – sharing this good news is such an energy magnet for everyone. Thank you for being part of my happiness and success.

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The Highway Merger

Yesterday I walked through a supermarket. It was amazing on so many levels. I had a stick and placed it in the trolley and leant on the trolley. As I was going down the aisles I had to process movement of myself and others whilst looking for food items, meanwhile adjust to noises and food at a different height to normal, for me. After many many years it was a really new experience that people just wandered passed me – I blended in. Gone were the wide berths; gone were the apologies; gone were the looks. My aim was accomplished however my processing ability will take some time to adjusting to steering and avoiding people whilst relying on my legs. The venture sure was an amazing feeling. The extra add-on bonus of standing is that I feel tall. I am in reality far from it, however it’s all relative. The food was different at standing level too…less brightly coloured items for attracting children.

Today I went to view a mobility scooter…after much research. I test drove it. I was the first to use it even though the owners had purchased it a year ago for an elderly relative. Anyways, as agreed we went away to discuss it and how I felt. I felt weird – although the freedom it will give me to steer to a shop and walk inside – it felt like a reliance on a motor (I use to rely on my powerchair); a dependence and the concept of sitting there steering again was unsettling for me. These days I have enough energy to power myself in the manual wheelchair for quite some distance; I have enough energy to do my training programme every weekday; I have enough energy to walk about where there is a small amount of processing required. So I realised that I wish to skip the step of a powered scooter. I’m off to research for an alternative method to get around town etc. It may be to lock up the wheelchair in town (probably too much of a wierd concept for others); try a handcycle; try a small-wheeled bicycle or a foldup one for the car; or a go-cart. I wonder if there is such a device as a manual mobility scooter aka adult size kids pedal car!

Recently I moved up a level with confidence and cognition. I was spending time with friends travelling on buses and trains; in cities and in their two storey house. I was thinking for myself; speaking up for myself; observing busy environments and becoming a part of them. I then embarked on some solo town and city trips. Learning to communicate with strangers; learning to find my way; learning to be independent.

Happy times…finding my self.

Recently I looked through the Do It Volunteering Website to see what voluntary work is available either virtually or in a local working environment. Over time my confidence and trust in my new found health will improve. However for now I feel comfier aiming for some virtual/home volunteering. On top of this, next month I am returning to the voluntary centre where I use to volunteer many years ago. I’m happy going there as they know my whole story, my ability and I’m part of the team…so I can be flexible, dependent on how I feel.

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Transitioning…in whichever way…takes time, acceptance and most of all patience. Also requiring self allowance and flexibility.

A counsellor I saw when I was misinformed about my diagnosis use to say to me: Choice Is Control. This has helped me through many challenges. I chose to try The Wahls Protocol as a tool to try to stand up, to be out of bed, to ease my digestion and to think with a bit of clarity. I got a whole lot more…